The Nonprofit Guide to Giving: Marin Charities to Support This Holiday Season

There are many ways to give across Marin. Here are a few great organizations to give to:

Community Action Marin

Community Action Marin

Everyone in Marin deserves the opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency and greater well-being. In the face of unprecedented need and inequity this past year, Community Action Marin made it possible for more people to stay housed, keep warm, and remain connected.

Community Action Marin serves over 20,000 people annually, working county-wide to alleviate the causes and consequences of poverty. The agency’s approach puts people first to ensure needs are met and hope is fostered all along the crisis-to-thriving continuum. Through safety net, early childhood education, mental health, food justice, economic opportunity, homeless outreach, and other vital services, the agency is a champion for the heart of Marin in its full diversity.

Thanks to a generous $15,000 match gift, your tax-deductible contribution of any size by Dec 31 will help us double our impact towards an equitable recovery. Learn more and join with others giving this year-end for a thriving Marin!

555 Northgate Dr., Ste. 201, San Rafael 415-526-7500 

Lifehouse Agency

Lifeshouse Agency

While the past year and a half has been filled with unprecedented challenges, it has also served as a powerful reminder of the essential work that Lifehouse carries out each and every day.

For over 65 years Lifehouse has been the life support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The need for creative and quality support services continues to grow in our community and across the Bay Area. Lifehouse employs over 500 essential support professionals to uphold our vital mission, ensuring that the individuals we support are safe, and have the opportunity to lead full lives. We believe all individuals deserve the right to live independent lives with integrity, joy and meaning. Lifehouse remains dedicated to making certain that all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are accepted and have a place in our community. We would like to invite you to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our staff with a donation to Lifehouse this holiday season. Your gift will recognize the importance of the services we provide, and the extraordinary people that provide them.

We express our deepest gratitude for this community that helps Lifehouse and the people we support continue to thrive.

North Bay Children’s Center

North Bay Children's Center

For 33 years North Bay Children’s Center (NBCC) has helped thousands of families give their kids the very best start during the most critical and formative years of development. NBCC designs and delivers high quality child development programs that focus on school-readiness, foster self-sufficiency, and promote health and wellness. Its innovative programs offer affordable childcare and the highest quality learning experiences giving children, particularly our most vulnerable, a foundation for a lifetime of success.

NBCC took a leadership role in responding to the shelter-in-place orders and subsequent childcare challenges brought on by the pandemic. NBCC partnered with the Marin County Emergency Command Center to serve medical first responders and later essential workers. And while other providers made the difficult decision to close their doors, NBCC took on three additional childcare sites in Novato saving 75 families from falling through the cracks.

This past year the organization was presented with a strategic opportunity to take their Garden of Eatin’® nutrition education program to the next level and reach thousands more children by licensing their nutrition education curriculum to be used by other childcare providers. Despite the impact of the pandemic, NBCC has been moving forward with its Bright Futures Renovation project which will increase child care capacity for its main campus in Novato by 57% enabling 96 additional children and their families to access vital services.

The Marin Foster Care Association


The Marin Foster Care Association is at the forefront of support and advocacy for foster children and their dedicated caregivers. Our programs are designed to support a mission of safe, consistent, quality care for every Marin County child in foster care. You don’t have to work in child welfare or be a foster parent to help children in foster care though. Help us change the way children experience the foster care system with a donation to Marin Foster Care Association. With your support, we can do even more for our kids. On behalf of the over 100 foster children and the caregivers we serve, thank you!

35 Mitchell Blvd, #5b, San Rafael 415-507-0557

Marin Gives Back: Morton & Bassett Spices and North Bay Children’s Center

Carol and Mort Gothelf
Carol and Mort Gothelf

Morton Gothelf, the founder of Morton & Bassett Spices, has always been a great cook and loves to entertain friends. His passion for finding just the right ingredients helped him start Morton & Bassett Spices in 1986, the same year North Bay Children’s Center (NBCC) was founded. The relationship between the Gothelf family and NBCC flourished years later when as an employer he became aware of NBCC when his employees could not return to work until they had childcare. From Mort to his son and current COO Rodney Gothelf, and staff, Morton & Bassett Spices embodies the spirit of philanthropy throughout their generous engagement with NBCC and other charities supporting families, children, and people with disabilities.

415.883.6222,, Novato, CA
Supporting Community Endeavors is the Spice of Life

Parent Service Project

Parent Services Project

Parent Services Project (PSP) is a nonprofit based in San Rafael whose mission is to engage and strengthen families to take leadership for the well-being of their children, families, and communities. We believe that strong parent-child interaction and attachment are the most important contributing factors to healthy social-emotional and cognitive development in children. PSP offers the following programs to families in Marin County:

  1. Leaders for Change: A series of workshops to empower parents and increase families’ engagement in their children’s education and the community at large.
  2. Raising A Reader: A take home book bag program housed in preschools and elementary schools, that encourages parents to support early literacy.
  3. Developmental Playgroups: Free educational playgroups for children under five years old and their parents or caregivers, focused on increasing children’s school-readiness, parent/ child bonding and social connections.
  4. Community Outreach: Works with underserved families, linking them to community resources and providing behavioral health services to families at no cost.
  5. Digital Literacy: Trains parents in basic digital literacy so they can support their children with homework and access school communication apps like ParentSquare.

Make an online donation to Parent Services Project today! Your donation directly supports local families in Marin.

Side by Side

Side by Side

AT SIDE BY SIDE, we walk with young people impacted by adversity on their journeys to heal from trauma, restore resilience, and embrace their potential. As the COVID pandemic brought unparalleled mental health, academic, behavioral, and housing needs among our youth, we responded swiftly and effectively. Our staff reached out persistently and compassionately to reach young people experiencing a range of emotions from depression to anger to disengagement.

But that’s not new. That dedication is the Side by Side way.

From special education and early intervention in school to bilingual counseling services, LGBTQIA+ support and transitional housing for foster youth, Side by Side provides the safe space most have missed in their lives, especially this year. When they feel seen for who they are today, we believe the young people we serve can move through this turbulent time with confidence toward a future with meaning and connection.
For over 125 years, Side by Side has been at the forefront of best practices in child welfare. Today, Side by Side operates in four counties – Marin, Alameda, Sonoma, and Napa – each year reaching nearly 2,000 young people ages 5-26 and their family members. While we are always grateful for our community’s support, that has never been truer than over the past year. Your ongoing generosity is integral to sustaining our services.

Tribe Rising India


For generations, caste prejudice has denied meaningful education to the children of the Santal tribe. Since 2018, Tribe Rising India has partnered with the Jesuits of West Bengal to:

• Add a grade each year to extend education beyond 4th Grade
• Provide scholarships to over 500 students
• Construct the first girls’ dormitory — ensuring girls can stay on campus past age 10 and avoid early marriage
• Begin building the first-ever high school dedicated to Santals—a modern, fully-equipped facility for up to 1,500 students

We believe every child has a right to education, regardless of their last name or appearance. We believe every culture deserves respect and dignity. We believe in the Santal people: we have seen one school begin to lift an entire community. We believe every child who achieves their full potential helps the whole human family prosper. We believe in fighting caste prejudice, igniting hope and creating generational change.

Join us! Sponsor a child or donate to the capital campaign today at